Day 271

Why me?

Have you ever asked yourself that question?

Why do I have to go through this?

Why can’t I be normal?

Why am I not pretty?

Why did my friend lie to me?

Why did my husband leave me?

Why did my child die?

Why did my ministry fail?

Why did my brother molest me?

Why did my mom leave me?

Why did my husband die?

Why did I get cancer?

Why?

Why me?

There a million other scenarios I could reference, but you get the idea.  We all have “stuff” that we wish wasn’t ours to deal with.  And we all have moments where we sit with the proverbial tweety birds flying around our heads and a whistling sound blowing through our ears as we digest some new disaster in our lives that causes us to ask, “Why me?”

There was a man briefly mentioned in the book of Acts who I am sure asked this same question many times over the course of the eight years he was bedridden.

“And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda. And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy.”  (Acts 9:32-33)

Eight years in a bed!  I get tired of my bed after a couple days with the flu!  Can you imagine eight, long years in bed?  I imagine he had bedsores and had lost a lot of weight. I think he probably even smelled a little seeing as how the Maytag washer hadn’t been invented yet to clean his clothes.  There was no cure for the palsy, so this man had no hope of ever being anything but what he was, a bedridden nuisance to everyone.  Eight years.  Almost a full decade, lying around wishing he was anyone but himself.

But then along came Peter.

“And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately.”  (Acts 9:34)

The power of Christ healed this man who had lain there for eight deplorable years.  Imagine as the man moved his eyes to look on Peter’s face as Peter knelt by him.  As Peter began the sentence by calling his name, he must have been a little startled.  Then as he heard the name above all names, Jesus Christ, I wonder if tingling shot through his limbs as the healing began?

This man had been struck with palsy about the time Jesus began his earthly ministry.  He had undoubtedly heard about the healing miracles that Christ had performed over the years.  He had probably desired to BE one of those miracles.  I wonder what he had thought when the news traveled to his ears that Jesus had been crucified?  Five years had passed since that time and yet, here he lay, still sick, still hopeless and still bedridden.

Yes, I think he must have asked himself, “Why me?” more times than I can count and I imagine his joy at feeling his legs strengthen once again must have been off the charts.  He was WHOLE again!

The healing wasn’t just for his wholeness though.  It was for a purpose.

Read the next verse with me:

“And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.”  (Acts 9:35)

WOW!

Everyone in TWO cities that saw him walking around turned to the Lord!  Talk about a Tale of Two Cities!

What was thought to be years of suffering was just building credibility to his future testimony of the power of God!

Your “Why me” is probably pretty awful.  Just as awful as this man perhaps.  And if you decide to act out in despair and commit suicide or derail your life in the sadness of the pain of it all, you could very well miss out on the “Everyone” that will see your testimony and turn to God.

Endure hardship as a good soldier.  Rejoice in the Lord.  Continue in what you have learned.  There is no answer right now to your question, but there is an answer.  Let God reveal it WHEN He wants to.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 270

When my husband and I were in our 20’s we were traveling around the southeastern part of the states trying to raise support for missions.  We didn’t own a home and lived in our van.  We only had three small children at the time and our fourth wasn’t even a blip on the radar.  Sometimes we would schedule meetings near a family member and stay with them while in that particular area.  It was hard, I won’t lie.  Here I am almost 50 doing the same thing and I still don’t like living like a gypsy when we are stateside.

During those early years my Aunt offered us the use of her RV if we wanted to place it in my parent’s back yard while we were in the area.  We were so happy for a little privacy.  I was always worried about the baby crying and waking my parents up, so the thought of having a “spot” for my little family was exciting.  I cleaned the little trailer and set a little table and chairs out front under the rollout awning where I would feed the children and watch them play.  At night Mark and I would plug in a little portable black and white tv and eat popcorn while waiting for the swing to put the baby asleep.  We made that little place our home for a few months and I have sweet memories to think back on.

One night while we were at church, a storm blew through our part of the state of Florida.  The winds were pretty strong and they tore off the awning of our little RV.  I remember feeling so horrible when we had to tell my Aunt and Uncle what had happened.  Here they had helped us out and now the wind had wreaked havoc on their trailer and it was NOT a cheap fix.  We moved out and went back on the road and I never set down roots again until we were in Brazil.

The word havoc means destruction.  That is what that wind did to that awning.  It mangled it up and ripped it apart as if it was nothing.  And that is exactly what I thought of when I read the following verse about the Apostle Paul before he was converted.

“As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.”  (Acts 8:3)

Saul wreaked havoc in the early church.   He was trying to be destructive, but in fact, he was used by God even before he was saved.  Read the next verse:

“Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.”  (Acts 8:4)

Because of Saul’s “havoc” the church scattered and went EVERY where preaching the word.  Paul was a missionary before he knew he was a missionary! LOL

I love it.

Sometimes we get comfortable in our lives don’t we?  We settle into a routine and manner of living that almost rocks us to sleep spiritually like the baby swing does to an infant.

Every now and then it is good for havoc to come along and shake us to our core.  Because then we open our eyes to what is really going on around us.

Has the “wind” blown through your life and tangled and ripped everything apart?  Well, I suppose you could sit down and boo-hoo for a bit while the storm rages, or you could get up and get busy about the work.

Get up and get something done.  Look around and use the havoc!

No, no one likes destruction.  We ALL hate it when it comes into our lives, but once the numbness and shock pass, we need to decide to use it for good.  Ask God how you can turn your pain into something useful for Him.  He has a plan.  He always has a plan!  He may have been the origin of the storm to begin with, so that is something to ponder!

Havoc is ugly and scary, but we don’t need to let it silence us.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

 

Day 269

My mom and dad named me Sheri on June 12, 1970.  All hopes were for a healthy baby BOY, but I rebelled from the womb apparently and bounced into this world a girl with blonde hair, big blue eyes and a wide screaming mouth.  So, I got the name Sheri instead of Terry Jr. or whatever name they would have given me had I been of the male persuasion.

I have always liked my name and grew up thinking it meant cherished warrior princess. You remember buying those little name cards at the bookstore don’t you?  I had a little yellow and pink one that I kept forever that told me what my name meant.  I liked the idea that warrior was in there, but not princess.  I have never been and never will be that type of girl.  And “cherished”?  I liked that because after all, I am the baby of the family and that is synonymous with “spoiled”, right?

But, to be honest, the origins of my first name are not exactly clear.  This is what I found out about my name on http://www.behindthename.com:

“Before the 20th century this was probably from the Irish surname Ó Searraigh meaning “descendant of Searrach” (a name meaning “foal” in Gaelic). Later it may have been reinforced by the French word chérie meaning “darling”, or the English word sherry, a type of fortified wine named from the Spanish town of Jerez. This name came into popular use during the 1920s, inspired by other similar-sounding names and by Collette’s novels ‘Chéri’ (1920, English translation 1929) and ‘The Last of Chéri’ (1926, English translation 1932), in which it is a masculine name.”

So basically I am either a darling young horse, a fine wine, a character from a novel or a man.

Great.

Good thing my name doesn’t really have to define me!

But there is Someone Whose name definitely defines them, and that is Jesus.  His name means Savior and that is EXACTLY Who He is.

In my Bible I have a line and arrow drawn, linking the following three passages of Acts:

“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”  (Acts 3:6)

And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.”  (Acts 3:16)

“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:10-12)

Obviously we all know or have met a person from Latin America or of Latin American roots name Jesus and we call them (HeyZeus).  I have met dozens of children and men with this name in Chicago.  I’m sure that there are those who also pronounce it just like we read it in the Bible in English as well.  But they are not our Saviour and they are not our Lord.  They have been bequeathed that name but it doesn’t define them.

To believe on the name of Jesus Christ means to believe that He is Who God said He is.  He was God incarnate.  That means He was God come in the flesh to dwell among us and to redeem us from our sins.  He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died without seeing corruption and rose again.

To believe that He is those things is salvation.

Do you believe in the name of Jesus Christ?

There is no other way to Heaven.  All roads of religion don’t lead there.  I know it feels good to think that peace is what will eventually bring you to the golden streets and pearly gates, but the only One to provide peace is Jesus Christ.

There is no church that can save you from hell.

There is no religion that can offer a bridge from death to life.

There is no prophet that can be believed on for an eternal life with God.

There is no other way to God but Jesus.

What a name.  What a Saviour.  Do you know Him today?  Does your neighbor?

I share the sentiment of Paul:

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:”  (Ephesians 1:17-21)

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

 

Day 266

STUDY TIME!

(On Saturdays and Sundays my blog posts will give you a verse to study. I won’t give you the reference….you have to find it for yourself. I will then ask you some questions)

VERSE:

“That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else. Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.”

STUDY:

  • Who is speaking in these verses?
  • What has just taken place?
  • What is the theme of this verse?
  • Are you walking in God’s statutes and keeping His commandments today?

*** HELPFUL TIP ***

If you do not own a concordance or commentary, try downloading the e-sword app to your phone or tablet. This app can be VERY useful when you want to do a word study or find a verse when you are on the go.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 263

“And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?”  (Luke 24:17)

If you have time right now, open your Bible to Luke 24:13.  Read from there to the end of the chapter to get a full look at what happens when Jesus does a little explaining.

I am fascinated with the stories of the resurrection.  I know it isn’t Easter time right now and most folks are looking forward to Fall and Christmas, but I just haven’t been able to get away from the resurrection this year.  It is a moment of perfect, redeeming victory for all of us.

In the verses from 13-31, there is such a beautiful picture painted of what happens when we talk to the Lord and allow Him to answer.  These two disciples have just left Jerusalem and are talking as they walked toward their village.  I can picture them going back and forth wondering if everything that they had believed in concerning Christ was wrong.  They didn’t know Jesus had come up alongside them and when he questions them about what they are talking about, they are more than happy to bounce all their thoughts off of Him.  He listens without interrupting (I LOVE THAT). Jesus listens to us and all our crazy observations and feeling and disappointments when we talk to Him!

Of course, Jesus always instructs in the RIGHT way though.  We should expect that of Him.  Jesus calls these two disciples fools.  This just makes me chuckle.  I wonder if He rubbed his brow and shook His head as He said it?  Did He stop his walking for a second in incredulity at their lack of discernment of the Scripture?  I really wish I could have seen this exact moment.

Just after Jesus calls them fools, He doesn’t berate them but He does something that really stuck out to me.  He went straight to the Word of God for His response to their account of recent days about the crucifixion and His own death.  He starts at Moses and teaches a Bible lesson right then and there on their walk.

Looking at this account, it makes me realize that when I am in doubt about things in my life I can and SHOULD go to the Word for understanding.  I can spend a whole lot of time chatting things over with a buddy or I can turn my attention to the Bible and allow It to truly help me.

Jesus does everything in perfection doesn’t He?  Do you think there would have been a more perfect way to respond to His friends and followers than to point them to the Word?  Then why don’t we follow His instruction as well and go to the Word too?!

You can read all the blogs and books you want, but nothing will ever help you as much as reading the Bible will.  Read with understanding.  Read prayerfully.  Most importantly, READ.

Who is with you on your walk today?  Are you considering the fact that Jesus is listening and waiting to tell you something?  Are you more concerned with ruminating over the events of your lives than you are believing in what the Word has to say about them?

Jesus will listen to you today if you have to talk some things over.  He may call you foolish for your unbelief, but don’t get your feelings hurt because He is about to teach you what you need to know and point you in the way you need to go.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 262

“And they remembered his words,”  (Luke 24:8)

Last year some time I was reading through Luke and when I came to this verse I stopped and wept.  I am a visual person and imagine what is going on while I read.  I could envision the women hurrying to the tomb with their spices and ointments to do one last service for their Master.  They had probably gotten up super early and gathered everything up that they needed before meeting each other to walk together to where Jesus had been buried.  The Bible says they were perplexed when they didn’t find Him there.  They were afraid when the two men appeared and questioned them.  (If that had been me, I probably would have fainted dead away)

Then we come to verse 8 when the women remembered Jesus’ words.  I can see their mouths hanging open and their eyes looking around as they recounted in their minds when Jesus said He would rise up again.  I wonder if their cheeks flushed with embarrassment that they had expected to find His body?

The important thing to view here is that they REMEMBERED Jesus’ words.

I get very caught up in my life’s “going’s-on” don’t you?  Sometimes we live in a whirl wind of routine and schedules doing what is demanded and expected of us as women.  We are all flexible and capable workers in our homes, ministries and business.  We pride ourselves on being problem solvers and duty keepers.  We run our lives with as much efficiency as we can (and the lives of those around us sometimes) We give our all.

But if we are not reminding ourselves of what Jesus said in His Word, we may end up doing something that is not needful.  Remember Mary and Martha?  Mary did what was needed.

What do we need to remember today?  What has Jesus said concerning us, our family and our lives?

I can think of a few verses to meditate on:

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”  (Psalms 46:10)

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”  (John 14:18)

“But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”  (Luke 12:7)

“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”  (James 1:8)

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”  (James 1:19)

“And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”  (Romans 16:20)

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”  (1 Corinthians 15:58)

There are a lot of things to remember to guide our daily lives and thoughts.  Let’s remember what He said!

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

 

Day 261

“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”  (Luke 4:16-21)

It’s been a while since I have heard a sermon preached from this passage of Scripture which is from Isaiah 61.  What a lovely reminder to find it waiting on me in the book of Luke today!

I have been studying on how a Christian should view themselves when they are away from God and living in sin.  Obviously we know that we are to maintain a daily, consecrated walk with the Lord and confess our sins, but what about when we lapse?  I talk to a LOT of people who are away from the Lord and feel like the church is against them.  Hey….I AM PART OF THE CHURCH!  I don’t ever want someone to feel as though I am against them.  I always want to try and have the attitude of Christ.  So that has led me to study this subject.

And wouldn’t you know, God gives me a great verse to base my thoughts upon?!

When Jesus reads from the book of Isaiah, he says he has been sent to heal the broken-hearted.  This is in reference to being broken from sin.  He is the Healer, not only of physical needs, but more importantly, our spiritual ones.

If you are away from God and happen to be reading this today, may I say that Jesus will not reject your prayer today if you want to talk to Him.  He already knows your situation, your personality, your hang ups and your frustrations.  The best thing you can do is to find a quiet place alone and go talk to Him.  No anvil is going to be thrown from the sky on top of your head.  Your life may seem completely in ruin right now and to be honest, it probably has the chance of getting a lot messier because of sin, but would’t it be better to go through it with the Lord helping you instead of by yourself?

If you are a friend or family member of someone who is away from God, maybe your attitude needs evaluation as well.  Are you behaving like Christ and offering them an avenue of healing or are you standing in the path with your arms crossed and denying them the opportunity to see grace and love from you?  (Ouch! This steps on my toes)

We all know sin brings death and misery.  Let’s keep ourselves away from that path by maintaining our walk with the Lord, but let’s also be willing to reach out to someone when they are so broken by their choices and need a kind word.

We have all been there.  We have all made a mess of our lives.  It is not easy for us to admit, but think back to when you were sitting in a parked car crying and trying to figure out how to get back to the Lord.  Think back to when you held the phone receiver in your hand and knew the other person who just hung up on you had asked for a divorce.  Think back to the time when you woke up with a hangover and wondered how you ever got so far away from the Lord and didn’t know how to come back.  Would you have liked to have had a friend in that moment?  Someone to listen and love you no matter what?  Then be that person to someone else!  Jesus was.

I wonder what it would have been like to hear Jesus in the synagogue that day as all eyes were fastened on Him?  The Bible points out that everyone was paying attention.  I wonder if someone found hope in that moment after He closed the book and the echo of His voice filtered through the air.  I think it must have been an amazing few seconds.  Yet, those are probably the same people who yelled “Crucify Him”.  It’s possible to see Jesus and hear Jesus and still be a hypocrite.

How many people will we continue to push away from the Lord just because it makes us feel better about ourselves?  This is such a huge problem in the Independent Baptist Church that it makes me sad.  It’s as though we have more compassion for the lost than we do our own brothers and sisters in Christ.

“For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”  (Luke 9:56a)

Reach out to someone or to SomeOne today…..point towards the Healer or run to Him yourself.  There is great relief there in His presence.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri